I'm a geography Ph.D. student now at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I study the use of markets - broadly defined - to achieve social and environmental change. In earlier research, I'm talked with Oregon environmental regulators, conservationist groups, and ecologists who do restoration site assessments to understand their varied interests and hesitations in building schemes for trading ecosystem services like water temperature regulation and salmonid habitat. Advocates often bill these schemes as win-win-win ways to conserve resources, lessen regulatory burdens, and compensate good land stewardship. I try instead to understand the tough scientific, political, economic, and spatial work that goes into naming something like water temperature (Kcal/day) and marketing it as an economic value, or commodity. All and all, I think such a line of inquiry can tell us a lot about what nature and society mean today. Stay tuned here for some of the results of this research.
I've similarly drawn on my experience working on several Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms to understand how CSA farmers make their heirloom tomatoes and radishes meaningful to shareholders and the implications of "scaling-up" local foods. Other previous research has involved looking at the marketing of place identity in a tourist community in Costa Rica.
I was formerly at the University of Kentucky - take a moment to visit the Political Ecology Working Group website and learn about their annual conference and writing prompts.